Instructional Design

Providing access to education is no easy task. Knowledge is continually evolving, and designing the coursework in a way that’s most useful to the participants takes preparation, time, and a close analysis of what the goals of the training are.

That’s why there’s an entire field of instructional design for corporate training. Instructional design shows up in a variety of industries, from academia to governments to businesses.

Whether you’re giving your clients information on how to use your products and services, need internal training for business partners, or want to get new hires up to speed with current business operations, having instructional design experts on your team can pose a significant benefit.

What Do Instructional Designers Do?

Creating effective coursework requires experience in the industry as well as a masterful understanding of learning design. These professionals typically:

  • Design learning management systems
  • Develop eLearning resources
  • Generate learning content such as tutorial videos and text
  • Review feedback from participants and tweak current courses accordingly
  • Research new practices in corporate training

Instructional design in training and development has become its own dedicated occupation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that the category boasts over $64,000 per year in salary and often requires a master’s degree.

These individuals not only create new instructional content for businesses but also ensure that participants can implement the knowledge well in the field.

Types of Instructional Design

There’s no single method of instructional design, and many organizations find value in different options. The following are some of the most popular approaches to instructional design.

  • ADDIE. Standing for “Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation,” ADDIE is the most popular of all the methodologies. Each stage focuses on the subsequent steps of developing a training program that takes into account the intended outcomes and any feedback after the course.
  • SAM. In recent years as business becomes more complicated, there has been a push for more agile methods of instructional design. One of them was Michael Allen’s Successive Approximation Model, which uses short instances of design work that builds a quick first product and improves upon it piece by piece.
  • ASSURE. Built for blended learning applications, ASSURE stands for “Analysis, Stating the Goals, Selecting the Media, Using Technology, Requiring Performance, and Evaluation.”
  • Gagne’s Nine Events. A rather uncommon approach comes from back in 1965 that stated that certain mental conditions must be present for learning to occur. The “Nine Events” explain instruction in the context of cognitive factors.

There are far more, too, such as the Kemp Instructional Design model, Merrill’s Principles of Instruction, and the Dick and Carey Model. Do your research if you’re interested in the many ways to produce quality educational content for your business.

The Steps of Instructional Design

No matter the type of instructional design you choose, all methods involve the following common components.


Why are you building new instructional materials? Are your intended participants often confused at work? Are they underperforming because of a lack of knowledge about your business’s processes?

If you work in sales training instructional design, for instance, it may be because the company’s sales team fails to deliver positive consumer experiences. Develop the goals of your training program that will guide how you design your coursework.


It’s time to start designing the coursework and materials you will use in your physical and virtual training. Generate presentations, aids, guides, or eLearning solutions if you’re searching for instructional design software training. Implement your training program in the field.


In the end, determine how successful your efforts have been. Did it generate a measurable impact on business efficiency? Continue tweaking your program according to performance metrics and participant feedback to maximize the return on investment you get from instructional design.

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